(Lowell MA) On Saturday, Amesbury fell behind by two runs in the first inning and came back to defeat Lowell Catholic, 3-2, in the D3 North semifinals.
On Sunday, that fall-behind-thing didn’t work so well as the Indians trailed St. Mary’s (Lynn), 7-0, after two innings and ended up losing the Division 3 North title game, 8-5, to the Crusaders at Martin Field.
St. Mary’s moves on to the state semifinal game versus Greater New Bedford (South winner) on Wednesday night (5PM) back at Martin Field in Lowell.
The Spartans (17-7) won state titles in 2009 & 2010. Last year they lost in the finals to Assabet Valley. The most remarkable thing to me about past performance was that St. Mary’s has been in the D3 North finals for NINE straight years. If experience means anything in big games they have it.
Amesbury (17-7), despite being down big early, never quit and put runners on base in the innings that followed and left the bases loaded in the fourth (after getting two runs) and in the seventh (after getting one run).
St. Mary’s picked up an insurance run in the sixth inning when Cassi LaFauci’s two-out double scored Alexis Mango with the Spartans eighth run.
That run loomed large in the Amesbury seventh after reliever Mia Nowicki walked in the Indians fifth run with two outs and had to face the Cape Ann League’s MVP Amanda Schell. Mia escaped by getting Amanda to ground out to second baseman Jen Mucciarone to end the game.
St. Mary’s totaled ten hits but had five of them in their seven-run second inning. Amesbury had three errors in the game and unfortunately, for them, all three came in the second inning.
In that second inning, the Spartans loaded the bases with two hits and a walk with one out. Pitcher Rachel Cyr then bobbled Jess Martinello’s grounder and Vanessa VanBuskirk scored. With two outs and the bases still loaded, another grounder and this time the throw home was over catcher Amanda Schell’s head and two runs scored. Later a single (Molly Doyle) to center went through CF Sam Stone allowing yet another tainted run. All seven runs were unearned.
Amesbury began the long road back with two runs in the third and two more in the fourth.
Autumn Kligerman and Rachel Cyr picked up RBI in the third.
Jordan D’Orsi started the fourth inning for St. Mary’s. Consecutive doubles (Zoe Fitzgerald & Lauren Fedorchak) produced a run and after a walk Mia Nowicki came on in relief. Mia hit the first batter (Amanda Schell) she faced and walked the next batter (Alexis Boswell) forcing in a run. Here was a key point in this game: bases loaded with one out and Amesbury within three runs. Mia, however, came up big for the Spartans registering a strikeout and a popout to escape further damage.
Mia Nowicki fanned seven Indians in her 3 2/3 innings of work. The freshman has plenty of speed and a devastating changeup.
Michaela Hamill pitched three innings for St. Mary’s giving up two runs on five hits.
Third baseman Autumn Kligerman and second baseman Lauren Fedorchak had terrific catches on infield popups.
Alex Fisher, Alexis Mango, and Mollie Mello each had two hits for St. Mary’s.
Lauren Fedorchak had two hits, scored a run, and had an RBI for Amesbury.
St. Mary’s won an April 22nd game versus Amesbury, 4-1, at Amesbury. Vanessa Van Buskirk had three RBI in that one.
Weather? Sunny/Cloudy with an off-and-on breeze.
(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)